As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to screw with supply chains and shipping times, retailers are canceling Black Friday and Cyber Monday in favor of sporadic online-only sales. If you want to catch these sales as they come (and avoid the shipping delays that will inevitably begin as early as October), then it’s time to set up a price tracker that automatically alerts you when products are on sale.
How Do Price Trackers Work?
Price-tracking websites, apps, and browser extensions send you email alerts or mobile notification when a product you care about goes on sale. They’re free to use and easy to set up, and they often come with automatic coupon or rebate features in addition to price alerts.
Of course, you need to write out a holiday shopping list before setting up a price tracker. You should also set a personal deadline for ordering gifts, as any purchases made in late November are at risk of shipping delays and back-orders. Keep in mind that some popular gifts, such as game consoles, may not go on sale this year.
If you don’t want to wait to buy Christmas presents, consider using a coupon or rebate-browser tool instead of a price tracker. Honey, Rakuten, and Wikibuy can automatically apply coupons and rebates to your purchases, or let you know when other stores carry an item for a better price. You could also wait for any confirmed sales like Prime Day, which will happen sometime in the next month but has yet to be confirmed.
Anyway, let’s start saving money!
Sweet and Easy: A Honey Droplist
Honey is an all-in-one shopping tool that’s easier to use than any of the competition. And while most people use Honey for coupons, rebates, and automatic price comparisons, its Droplist tool makes it super easy to watch out for price drops and discounts on Christmas gifts.
To use Honey’s Droplist tool, sign up for an account, and install the Honey-browser extension (Chrome/Firefox). A Honey Droplist icon will show up on product pages as you shop online . When the price for that item drops, Honey will notify you in the browser. You can also use Honey on your phone (iOS/Android) and receive mobile price drop notifications.
Community-Driven Discounts: SlickDeals Deal Alerts
SlickDeals is a community-driven price tracker that brings together deals and discounts from all over the web. It’s by far the best deal-tracking tool for people who like to get their hands dirty with custom rules and alerts, and its optional browser extension (Chrome/Firefox) can automatically apply coupons (but not rebates) to your purchases.
To start tracking products on SlickDeals, simply make an account, and press the “Create and Manage Deal Alerts” button at the top of the SlickDeals website. From there, you can set up deal alerts for specific products, for keywords, and for “genres” of items (Xbox games or sports memorabilia, for example). You can also manually look up deals and discounts on SlickDeals, or use the SlickDeals browser extension to look up discounts or apply coupons on the fly.
Amazon Price Tracking: camelcamelcamel
Why venture outside of Amazon? camelcamelcamel tracks Amazon prices in real time, so you can get instant email alerts when an item’s price goes down. You can even use camelcamelcamel to check the price history of an item, so you can see how cheap a product was during previous sales.
Unlike Honey, which is primarily a browser extension, camelcamelcamel is just a website with a rudimentary browser extension (Chrome/Firefox). Still, you might prefer camelcamelcamel if you don’t want to deal with something as feature-rich as Honey, or if you only want to shop on the Amazon website. You can also use camelcamelcamel alongside Honey or Slickdeals to double-check that “sales” are worth your while.